Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Plan your pet's survival during bushfires


RSPCA NSW is urging the public to ensure that animals are included in their bushfire evacuation plans with extreme temperatures and catastrophic fire conditions expected to continue across the State for the rest of the week.

“Planning ahead and ensuring that your animals are included in your evacuation plans is crucial,” said Steve Coleman, RSPCA NSW CEO.  “Often, people have no choice but to leave their animals behind because they’ve not included their pets as part of their evacuation plan.”

Bushfire survival plans should include separate strategies to care for companion animals and livestock.

RSPCA NSW’s companion animal evacuation checklist:
  • Have carry boxes (for smaller pets), leads (for dogs) and halters (for horses) readily accessible – if possible, familiarise pets with boxes and leads in advance so they become more comfortable with them 
  • Ensure pets wear collars and tags at all times – tags should include the animal’s name, owner’s name and phone number 
  • Always have a secondary contact number on the ID tag or microchip record – a home phone won’t be answered in an evacuation 
  • Ensure pets are microchipped and registered with your local council, as required under NSW law
    Prepare an emergency pet supply kit – food and water (remember to pack a can opener if feeding canned food), food and water bowls, kitty litter and litter tray for cats, medication, blankets and towels 
  • Keep current photos of your pets and a detailed description of them, in the event they become lost 
  • If pets should become lost during an emergency, contact the RSPCA for helpful tips on how to locate them
  • Appoint a backup person – possibly a trustworthy neighbour – who can implement your evacuation plan in your absence 
RSPCA NSW’s livestock preparedness checklist:
  • Preparing and maintaining fuel-reduced areas onto which livestock can be moved and held 
  • Have emergency supplies of fodder and water available
For more information on animal welfare in emergencies, visit: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/agriculture/emergency

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